Advice for renting a place in college?

Drew224

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So next year I'm going to school at the local branch of University of Missouri, and moving out on my own. I'm going to start looking for places in early July, hopefully be moved in somewhere or ready to move in somewhere by the end of the month. And I'll probably have someone else move in with me within the first year of doing that, I just don't want to actively search for someone solely on the grounds of needing a roommate I can tolerate. I'd rather actually be friends with someone first.
Only reason I'm staying in Kansas City is that I don't see the point in going to a college town, and I'm broke.

I'm looking to stay on the west side of the city and pay between 400-800 a month before utilities, preferably less than 800. If I can find a house I can get into I'm probably going for that over an apartment even though I'll have to pay all or more of the utilities in that case.

So with all that in mind, what advice do you guys have?
Continuing to live with my parents is not an option (they don't want me to stay much longer than another year, and I just don't want to take anything from them anymore), nor is living somewhere I'll get shot. I'll be working through school so I'm not taking all my living expenses out on my loans.
 

Roberteaux

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One thing you can do is to go to campus and check out the Roomate Wanted ads that are typically posted somewhere around the student union, usually on a bulletin board. Hopefully, you will have better luck than Sinmastah has had.

--R
 

Drew224

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I want to live alone for a while. I figure I'm just gonna go solo until a friend of mine is looking for a place and I actually want that person living with me.
 

River

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I want to live alone for a while. I figure I'm just gonna go solo until a friend of mine is looking for a place and I have deluded myself into thinking that I want that person living with me.
FTFY. Live alone if you can possibly pull it off. If you can't, suck it up and go live in a dorm or frat, where there's some semblance of authority to which you can appeal.

Roommate shit gets weird, and I'll never try it again - ever. I'll pitch a tipi down by the creek first.
 

Skintaster

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Most college towns have people that will rent out tiny little garage apartments. Check those out. They suck in lots of ways, but may be cheap enough for you to avoid a room mate.
 

River

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Most college towns have people that will rent out tiny little garage apartments. Check those out. They suck in lots of ways, but may be cheap enough for you to avoid a room mate.
Excellent advice. That closet in the back of the garage? It won't come home one night whacked out on coke asking where you've been hiding your sister. It won't eat all of your Eggo waffles and Ramen. It won't steal your car on Saturday night and bring it back on three flat tires Wednesday afternoon.

That little closet is your friend.

Or, put your toe in the water more gradually, and suck up dorm life for a few months. You'll learn a lot.
 

Skintaster

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When we were looking at buying a house in Austin, my wife had to move before we'd secured a place - she got a great job offer, but had to take it immediately.

I was still living and working in Houston. She ended up renting a 250 square foot garage apartment behind a larger house that was occupied by five sorority sister types. The neighborhood was walking distance from UT and extremely high demand. Lots of similar rentals. She was paying about $500 a month - A pretty good deal for a place that ear campus.

Good luck Drew. Room mates tend to suck. Hopefully you can find a cheap place.
 

csplayer089

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If you're a freshman they will most likely force you to live on campus. I did the dorms for 2 years, and a frat house the other 2.
 

River

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As far as the "getting shot" part goes, hit up Malikon. He seems to be wise in the ways of living where mortals fear to tread. He may, in fact, be an immortal, but I don't think so. I think he's just got his shit together.

Drew, if you're going all urban and stuff, you need to do some serious introspection before you make a commitment. Don't sell yourself short, but don't over-estimate your street-cred, either. I'd hit Roberteaux up on this one, personally.
 

geochem1st

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I spent one semester in a dorm and promptly moved out. I spent time living in a laundromat for about a month rather than take up with a room mate, until I found a decent place to live. (the laundromat wasn't so bad, clean clothes, smelled good, running water and the dryers were on for heat). If you are serious about school and the education you want, going solo is the best way, even if you are renting a room above a garage.
 

Drew224

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If you're a freshman they will most likely force you to live on campus. I did the dorms for 2 years, and a frat house the other 2.

Most schools do, but enough people just commute to UMKC that they don't make freshmen live on-campus. If they get bitchy I'll just say I'm living with my parents, and my parents would probably back me up on that one. They know I don't want to live in a dorm.

As far as the "getting shot" part goes, hit up Malikon. He seems to be wise in the ways of living where mortals fear to tread. He may, in fact, be an immortal, but I don't think so. I think he's just got his shit together.

Drew, if you're going all urban and stuff, you need to do some serious introspection before you make a commitment. Don't sell yourself short, but don't over-estimate your street-cred, either. I'd hit Roberteaux up on this one, personally.

I've grown up in a "bitches get stitches"-mentality area, I'm used to it. I just don't want to live around that anymore. I'm tired of being surrounded by hopelessly uneducated people who think I owe them something.

I spent one semester in a dorm and promptly moved out. I spent time living in a laundromat for about a month rather than take up with a room mate, until I found a decent place to live. (the laundromat wasn't so bad, clean clothes, smelled good, running water and the dryers were on for heat). If you are serious about school and the education you want, going solo is the best way, even if you are renting a room above a garage.

I'm going to school so I can have a degree. I actually want an English degree. I want to be better equipped to write professionally and I'm interested in being one of the few people who's actually intelligent that is willing to teach.

Like I said I don't want to live in a dorm. Frats aren't my thing. And as it stands right now there are maybe a handful of people I'd be willing to live with, only one of them is staying here for school as far as I know, and she's going to have to live on campus her first year because she's going to a more uptight school next year. Needless to say I don't want to be around someone who'd trash or pawn my shit, and force me to can kiss goodbye to my HARD-EARNED deposit money.
 

Roberteaux

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Don't sell yourself short, but don't over-estimate your street-cred, either. I'd hit Roberteaux up on this one, personally.

:laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:

No need to wait, as I can already tell you:

Drew is not the sort of jackass who will ever need street cred. Instead, he must simply learn not to look directly at anybody else for prolonged periods of time, to notice everything around him in a fairly discreet manner, and so forth. Coyote-noia and a heapin' helpin' of common sense are all that is needed, except by happenstance.

As for choices of places to live... I figured that he'd be looking for a roomate, mainly because he didn't seem to sound as though he wanted a room on shakedown street.

Also, I must say: I never had a roommate who was at all problematic, though they did come and go. However, when I lived in Miami, I had a female landlord who was horrible enough that I actually lived to see her being hauled off in a Miami-Dade patrol car after she burglarized the apartment I rented from her.

You shoulda seen the look on her face! :laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:

Which is all to say: YMMV, no matter what you do.

Again: best of luck to you, Drew.

--R
 

morrow

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Roommate shit gets weird, and I'll never try it again - ever. I'll pitch a tent down by the creek first.
Fixed. You were accidentally associating yourself with the natives.
 

Drew224

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So far no one has tried to rob me or pull a gun on me, even when I'm dressed better or have more obvious valuable stuff on me than I'd like to in that situation - I must be doing something right. And that stuff does happen around here. My block has been quieter as of late, but there have been robberies, there was a crack house at one point...
 

morrow

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Missouri is pretty uncivilized; having a roomate is gonna suck.
 

Nicky

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Endure a dorm room with a roommate for one year. You will learn a lot about socialization and grow up a bit. If you get distracted, then do something to get undistracted. If you don't get along with your first roommate, request another - he will probably dislike you just as much and happily agree to move. Being on campus allows you an opportunity to be engaged with the scholastic and social aspects of college - something you won't get living elsewhere. Go to campus activities, eat meals at the dorm or union building, go to athletic events - do stuff with other students. You might possibly make friends for life. Hell, I married my college sweetheart. Divorced her five years later. But man, oh, man. The best body you'd ever dream of. Never would have met her if I had not lived on campus.
 

MineGoesTo11

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Girls will run through all your toilet paper! One roll minimum for every female visitor.
 

Roberteaux

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So far no one has tried to rob me or pull a gun on me, even when I'm dressed better or have more obvious valuable stuff on me than I'd like to in that situation - I must be doing something right. And that stuff does happen around here. My block has been quieter as of late, but there have been robberies, there was a crack house at one point...

Much of the time, being robbed or mugged is a matter of sheer happenstance... that is, you come along just in time for somebody to decide to try and take you. It's not as if you were truly targeted or any of that.

Living around certain areas does make a person burglar bait a lot of times, though... and that sort of thing usually is at least somewhat a targeted affair.

As I said: eyes in back of head, a healthy amount of caution, and a bit of common sense will tend to keep you out of the shit most anywhere you might live... except by happenstance.

Some places are worse than others, though.

--R
 

Drew224

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Endure a dorm room with a roommate for one year. You will learn a lot about socialization and grow up a bit. If you get distracted, then do something to get undistracted. If you don't get along with your first roommate, request another - he will probably dislike you just as much and happily agree to move. Being on campus allows you an opportunity to be engaged with the scholastic and social aspects of college - something you won't get living elsewhere. Go to campus activities, eat meals at the dorm or union building, go to athletic events - do stuff with other students. You might possibly make friends for life. Hell, I married my college sweetheart. Divorced her five years later. But man, oh, man. The best body you'd ever dream of. Never would have met her if I had not lived on campus.

I'm going to do stuff on campus. I'm probably going with a meal plan the first year. I'll probably go to film clubs or junk like that. Hopefully there will be more stuff along the lines of art rather than politics. I'll go to games and those stupid formal dances now and then, I just don't want to live on campus. That's another year of being half-nannied and I'm sick of it and I'm tired of the crapshoot that is tolerating other human beings where you very much just want some space for your head.
I'm actually not going to be living much more than five minutes away from the campus.

Much of the time, being robbed or mugged is a matter of sheer happenstance... that is, you come along just in time for somebody to decide to try and take you. It's not as if you were truly targeted or any of that.

Living around certain areas does make a person burglar bait a lot of times, though... and that sort of thing usually is at least somewhat a targeted affair.

As I said: eyes in back of head, a healthy amount of caution, and a bit of common sense will tend to keep you out of the shit most anywhere you might live... except by happenstance.

Some places are worse than others, though.

--R

There are parts of town I'd be afraid to be seen hauling my gear in or out of a home.
 

Deftone

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I had a few fvcked up roommates, but I had some great ones too. Be the name on the lease so you're in charge of the situation. ALWAYS get a complete rental agreement filled out and do background and credit checks.

If I couldn't find a friend to move in, I advertised for female roommates. I think they are better roommates in general and it was a great way to meet girls.

Also, location is important, IMHO.

Even if you turn them down for renting, you can still ask them out.
 

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